Pastor Tiffany Hollums decided that each day during Lent, she would choose a word to prayerfully reflect upon. A volunteer suggested reading the lectionary texts and then choosing a word that stood out from those passages. She is sharing those reflections here and hopes to inspire our readers to join in her journey.
Jonah 3: 1-10
Romans 1: 1-7
Create in me a clean heart, oh God.
Last night, I was preparing the ashes for the Ash Wednesday service. I hadn’t ever realized just how messy this could become until I began to mix the oil with the ashes. Did I need a spoon or some utensil? Nah, I thought, I will just use my finger to combine the mixture. Seemed to work great, until I then needed to wash my hands, which then smeared the ashes all over my hands. What a mess!!
Lent is messy. WE are messy. Jesus’s journey to the cross is messy-filled with betrayal, doubt, abuse, and death. A mess that at times, I find myself wanting to just try to gloss over and sanitize. To do a ‘quick clean’ or a ‘good enough clean’ without the work, toil, sacrifice and denial part. The messy part. But oh, Lord, we must embrace the mess in order to truly experience the clean part. Create in me a clean heart, oh God.
What ‘messy’ parts of my life or my soul need some work this Lenten season?
What does the cleaning process look like for me as I walk with Jesus to the cross? What spiritual practices might help me to move closer to the cleansing spirit of Christ?